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Anticommunism and the Early Cold War Red Scare:. Lecture Plan Truman and the early Cold War The rise and fall of Senator McCarthy Anticommunism and American.

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Presentation on theme: "Anticommunism and the Early Cold War Red Scare:. Lecture Plan Truman and the early Cold War The rise and fall of Senator McCarthy Anticommunism and American."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anticommunism and the Early Cold War Red Scare:

2 Lecture Plan Truman and the early Cold War The rise and fall of Senator McCarthy Anticommunism and American Society

3 The early Cold War, 1945-1946 The “betrayal” of Yalta; the long shadow of Hitler Fears of Soviet expansionism in Greece, Turkey, Iran, North Korea… Truman: strength (“I gave him the old one-two”) and uncertainty


5 From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent… From what I have seen of our Russian friends and allies during the war, I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness. (March 5, 1946)

6 George Kennan: Containment “a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” An “adroit and vigilant application of counter-force at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points, corresponding to the shifts and maneuvers of Soviet policy.” This would “promote tendencies which must eventually find their outlet in either the break-up or the gradual mellowing of Soviet power.” “X article” in Foreign Affairs (1947)

7 Containment in practice Truman Doctrine, 1947: shift from détente to containment Marshall Plan, 1947-1951: US$13Billion given in aid to western Europe (1.5% of American GDP)

8 The Escalation of Conflict, 1947-1952 Rapid demobilisation of US troops (12.1M in 1945 to 1.4M in 1948) Intervention in Greek Civil War, 1947 Berlin blockade, 1948 Overthrow of Czechoslovakian government in 1948 “Fall” of China, 1949 Soviet detonation of a nuclear bomb, 1949 NATO, 1949

9 NSC-68 (1950) conception of Soviet aims: “the complete subversion or forcible destruction of the machinery of government and structure of society in the countries of the non-Soviet world and their replacement by an apparatus and structure subservient to and controlled from the Kremlin.” “Thus we must make ourselves strong” Our policy must “foster a fundamental change in the nature of the Soviet system” the role of military power: “to serve the national purpose by deterring an attack upon us while we seek by other means to create an environment in which our free society can flourish, and by fighting, if necessary, to defend the integrity and vitality of our free society and to defeat any aggressor…”

10 THE KOREAN WAR US intervention in support of South against invasion by communist North Gen Douglas MacArthur led successful counter-attack, 1950 Expansion of war aims prompted Chinese intervention and bloody stalemate





15 Elizabeth BentleyJulius and Ethel Rosenberg

16 Explaining McCarthyism The “paranoid style”, a counter-subversive tradition Louis Hartz: America as a creed Anarchism and the 1919 Red Scare

17 The Anticommunist network labour leaders (including CIO) Catholic church ACLU, NAACP business leaders Formation of Americans for Democratic Action by old New Dealers to differentiate them from Henry Wallace’s organisation defectors

18 The Truman administration and the Red Scare 1947 Loyalty Program Fired 1200 federal employees (and 6000 more resigned) More than 150 organisations declared to be subversive 1948 prosecution of 11 CPUSA leaders under the 1940 anti-subversion Smith Act

19 J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Director, 1935-1972 Hoover and Clyde Tolson

20 House Un-American Affairs, subcommittee,1948

21 HUAC v Hollywood The Hollywood Ten, 1948 (with their attorneys)

22 The Committee for the first amendment

23 Alger Hiss


25 “A witness’s refusal to answer whether or not he is a Communist on the ground that this would tend to incriminate him is the most positive proof obtainable that the witness is a Communist…” Senator McCarthy

26 “ It is not the less fortunate, or members of minority groups who have been selling this nation out, but rather those who have had all the benefits of that the wealthiest nation on earth has to offer – the finest homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in the government that we can give.” Senator Joseph McCarthy, speech at Wheeling, Virginia, Feb 1950

27 “…a pompous diplomat with his striped pants and phony British accent…” “…a conspiracy a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man…” Dean Acheson

28 “…Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency...?” Army Attorney Joseph Welch to McCarthy


30 “McCarthyism” without McCarthy Blacklists in entertainment industry Employers fired anyone who “took the fifth”

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